Spicy Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir

Chinese 5-spice is a common spice mix for Chinese cooking. If you can't find it, we've included directions on how to make your own.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cups Pinot Noir or other dry red wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Large pinch of Chinese five-spice powder*

*How to make your own Chinese five-spice powder

Chinese five-spice powder Ingredients:
1 teaspoon peppercorns
4 star anise
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds

In a dry skillet, roast peppercorns by shaking the pan over low to medium heat until the aroma of the peppercorns is released (about three minutes). Grind the roasted peppercorns and 4 star anise in a blender or pepper mill. Mix in ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and ground fennel seeds. Grind the seasonings until very fine. Store in an airtight container.


1 Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cranberries and fresh ginger; stir until cranberries begin to burst, 3-5 minutes.

2 Add wine and sugar; boil until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes.

3 Add crystallized ginger, curry powder and five-spice powder.

Serve sauce cold or warm.

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  • Helen

    Wondering….can this be canned like you do jam?

  • Jennifer

    This recipe is fantastic. After serving it warm on Thanksgiving, I spread it cold on leftover Turkey sandwiches

  • Basil Henneberry

    This the second year making this for Thanksgiving and everyone thought it was a excellent twist on the usual cranberry sauce

  • Lisa

    Allison, this cranberry sauce went really well with a veg shepherds pie (lentils or tvp or veggie ground round instead of hamburger). Another way to serve it would be with a casserole of cooked yam/sweet potato pureed with some olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle it with some pecans or walnuts and maybe some bread crumbs. Bake at 350F for 1/2 hour.

  • Allison

    This sounds wonderful. It’s a brisk fall day and I can’t think of a better way to use the last of the Pinot I have on my counter. Any suggestions for a vegetarian dish to serve it with?

    Gosh Allison, your guess is as good as mine. ~Elise

    • Leslie

      Try grilled tofu; maybe marinate it in some soy sauce and fresh grated ginger?

  • Holly Jones

    This is the absolutely best cranberry sauce my family has ever had the pleasure of eating!!!! Loved the asian influence. Very simple to make. We almost didn’t have any leftovers – that’s a first!

  • audra

    I’ve been making a cranberry sauce that is very similar to this for years. Combine 1 bag of cranberries with 1 cup wine and 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, depending on your likes and the dryness of the wine, add 1 tsp lemon zest and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Really good. I’ve also made it with apple cider, although I decrease the amount of sugar to 1/4 to 1/3 cup.

  • Megan Miller

    This was amazing with turkey, and I’m sure it would be great with chicken and pork. Definitely a keeper.

  • cindy moeller

    I just made this recipe for the first time…it is absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to have it with turkey tomorrow!

  • Zina Harrington

    What type of dish would you serve this with?

    Turkey. ~Elise

  • Eileen

    Everyone loved this cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving (especially me)! I ended up thickening it with corn starch and using about 2/3 the sugar. I’m definitely making it again for Christmas to share with the other side of the fam. I plan to serve the leftover sauce with pork chops tonight.

  • JR Ortiz

    I have made this cranberry sauce the last two years for Thanks Giving. Both times it was a huge success and this year people don’t want to wait until T.G. for me to make it again. THANK YOU!!!

  • Amity

    This was a HUGE HIT at our Thanksgiving. We loved it so much we ate it with breakfast the next morning. SO TASTY!!

  • Arlington, VA

    This is super yummy! I didn’t have pinot noir, so I used merlot. Also, I was missing the fennel. But, still really good. Let’s hope my guests think so, too! Off to try your turkey recipe!

  • Lisa

    my Cranberry chutney (good to give away at xmas) is something like that but I use more whole spices and add fresh green chillies, curry leaves and garlic. Minus the 5-spice.
    My other oriental cranberry sauce is with 5 spice powder, rose petals and szechuan peppers served with pan roasted duck legs – it gives a *quiet* kick.

  • Kristen

    Served this last night over baked brie for an appetizer and it was delicious. I’d highly recommend trying this!

  • Homesick Texan

    I like to make my cranberry sauce with roasted chile peppers and cilantro for a little kick.

  • Kristen

    Elise, this recipe was WONDERFUL. I served with a hazelnut crusted pork tenderloin and it was a PERFECT compliment. I can’t wait to make again!

  • Rebecca.

    Wow. Thanks so much for making me a cranberry sauce hero. Both men at my table who dislike cranberry sauce had seconds!!

    Wonderful site. I absolutely love it. Thanks so much for offering such tremendous information.


  • jeannette

    That cranberry sauce sounds great! I make a very similar one with apples, onions and celery added and i add a spoonful of Patak’s Garam Masala curry paste. Delicious! As this weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving, I added some leftover Reisling to my cranberry sauce since I didn’t have any Pinot Noir on hand. It just came off the stove and smells lovely. Thank you for the wine inspiration.